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Unterberg Poetry Center

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen, a 2017 Discovery / Boston Review Contest winner, is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver. Her poems appear in Poetry, American Poetry Review, PEN America, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of poems, Ghost Of, is shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. For more information, visit

Below are Diana Khoi Nguyen’s poem “A Bird in Chile, and Elsewhere” and a draft of that poem, originally printed in the Winners’ Reading program May 8, 2017, as well as a short video excerpt from that night.

A Bird in Chile, and Elsewhere

There is no ecologically safe way to mourn. Some plants have nectaries that keep secreting pollen even after the petals have gone. Like a flower that grows only in the invisible the whole world of its body noiselessly shaking against the dust.

Diana Khoi Nguyen reads “A Bird in Chile, and Elsewhere”